Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Bob White

How sould the Patrol Method solve this?

Recommended Posts

Hey, heres an excercise that could be fun. I saw this done at a Commissioners College. baden Powell fely there wasn't any troop problem (we are not talking adult volunteer problems) that couldn't be solved by the Patrol Method.

 

We were all asked to give a real life situation, nothing fabricated, having to do with troop or patrol operations or activities. we broke into groups and had to identify how the patrol method could slve the probem. It helped alot of people to see what BP meant and to see that the methods were as valid today as over 90-years ago. I encourage every to play. Give a problem or patrol method solution to a posted problem.

 

This is not scouting according to Bob, this is scouting by the methods of the BSA.

 

evmori had a good one on page 2 of the Broken Rules string in Policies. let's try some others.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The title to this thread was supposed to be-How Could the Patrol Method have solved this. Sorry OTD (old timer's desease)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about this:

 

We have an Ex-Senior Patrol Leader that is currently a patrol leader. He term of office expired over a year ago. His style of leadership was always "big boss" and while we were able to modify it, he never bought into shared leadership at all. (his father is a fire dept lieutenant, that may explain a bit) He still tries to run the troop as if he was the SPL. At a recent PLC training weekend (we used the JLT tape and syllabus) he always took control of almost any situation. The current SPL just shrunk back in the shadows. The Ex-SPL attended the week long JLTC the council puts on prior to being SPL as has the present SPL.

 

How can we use the Patrol Method to get the ex-SPL to "simmer" down while not shutting him down and to encourage the present SPL to "step up?"

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi OGE,

I guess I'll take a crack at this before I head to bed. The patrol methods has two tiers. The first Scoutmaster trains Junior Leaders, Junior leaders operate the troop.

 

As I see it this is a training dilema not an operations one. My first thought was for you to have a counseling session with him. Ask him how he felt being SPL and how he felt the other patrol Leaders gave him the opportunity to lead. Ask him if he feels he is giving the current SPL the same respect the PLs gave him. Ask him what he could do to help the current SPL enjoy his short time in office and have the learning opportunities the the ex-SPL enjoyed.

 

My second thought was the same counseling session only done by a 3member Board of review(remember Boards can be done at any time with any scout). They could begin by asking him how his advancement is coming then move into discussing his current role as PL. finally broach the topic of the relationship withe the Current SPL and the questions I listed above.

 

I am sure some might suggest taking the boy aside and telling him to be quiet and let the SPL do his job. It's quicker, powerful, let's him know you're the boss. But did he mature from the experience? I'd guess not.

 

The methods I suggest allow for some intraspection and self evaluation. It lets the boy decide for himself what the right decision is. That's the Scouting way.

 

Hope this helps,

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OGE,

Good one!

 

As Scoutmaster, I would have a one on one with the ex-SPL and explain his current position. I would also encourage him to pass on his knowledge to the current SPL. I would also encourage him to lead his Patrol the way he led the Troop and to follow the leadership of the new SPL.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have done the counseling thing at least formal times at boards of review (star and life) and one impromtu one and the scoutmaster has had several "moments" with him. He always seems to understand what we are talking about and says he understands, but as soon as he is with the scouts and a situation arises, he grabs the top spot.

 

How do we use the patrol method to solve this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The following are mostly assumptions from OldGreyEagle's post, but they are probably fairly close to the facts:

 

Perhaps Old SPL's enthusiasm for taking command of the troop, even though it is not his job, results from the fact that he is not being "challenged" in his present position of PL. Presumably he was once a PL and did well enough at that job that the troop elected him SPL. Now he is back his former position and is bored. He can do the PL thing standing on his head. So he sees the new SPL perhaps being a bit shy and reticent to take charge, and does not like to see things "drift" in a meeting or activity, so he takes command. As a result, the New SPL becomes even more hesitant.

 

I don't necessarily see any "malice" here. The Old SPL is just trying to "help" and probably does not realize that he is trampling on his successor's opportunity to lead. (I am trying to be positive here; it is possible that "power hungry" would be a better description.) But whatever face you put on it, the boy has a "need to lead." This is a good thing, if channeled in the right direction. But it seems to me that PL may not be the right direction.

 

So maybe he needs a position that will give him something new to do. Troop Guide? Instructor? When I reached the end of my term as SPL back in the Antedeluvian Epoch, I was already 16 so it was easy, I was made a JASM. Or if Old SPL really needs to be Top Dog in something, maybe he could be encouraged to direct some of his energies to OA if he is a member. There he could possibly rise to chapter chief or lodge chief, if the leadership skills he has shown at the troop level are as readily evident to boys from other units.

 

There is a related issue here, and it is one that adults are really no better at dealing with than boys. That is, once you have been Number One, it is difficult to return to a "subordinate" position, and it can also be difficult for the new Number One to deal with. (One might say that dealing with difficulty is part of the learning experience of being a youth leader, but it does not sound like it is being dealt with adequately.) As I said, when I was a Boy Scout I went directly from SPL to JASM so this was not really an issue. However, I have personally faced this situation as an adult. I am on the board of a local foundation to benefit the public school system, and was the second chairman of the board. The first chairman was never quite comfortable returning to being "just" a committee chairman on the board, and I suppose that after I returned to being "just" a committee chairman, there were times that I chafed under the leadership of the new board chairman. I also think back to when I was in law school and a "university senator" and a member of its executive committee, and the president of the Senate (a professor probably 20 years older than I was) accused me at one point of trying to "take over" her job. She probably was not completely wrong, as I saw a leadership vacuum and was trying to help fill it. I wasn't trying to stand at her podium or anything, but I was making suggestions as to what she should do, and she didn't really appreciate it. Now, as an assistant cubmaster, I have managed to subordinate my "need to lead" to the fact that I don't have time to take the responsibility to do the top job the right way -- but in fact I have done part of the CM's job, at his request. We also have had a few "moments" but have worked out a reasonable working relationship.

 

All this is by way of example that this may not be the last time in his life that the Old SPL finds himself frustrated at not being the guy standing on top of the mountain.

 

As far as the "patrol method" goes, I am not sure how it fits in to this situation. Unless I am incorrect, the Instructor and Troop Guide positions are appointed by the SPL, so the PLC is not really involved. The one exception is, maybe if there are enough other boys interested in a Venture Patrol, this boy needs to be PL of that rather than a regular patrol. At least that would provide somewhat of a new challenge. And forming a Venture Patrol, I assume, is up to the PLC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a situation that recently came up.

 

Ive been working to get our Patrol Leaders Council to understand they have more control over the activities and operation of the troop then they think. All of a sudden at the last PLC meeting they seemed to get the concept. Im very pleased that they took the bull by the horns and made a decision, but not happy about what they decided.

 

Ive thought for some time now that we need to implement dues collection in the troop and stop the annual re-charter fee. At first, there was parent opposition and committee opposition, but we overcame that. The boys apparently could see what was coming, and they brought up the subject of dues at the last PLC meeting. It was thoroughly discussed. I made my speech about aims and methods, and about paying your own way, hoping they would do the right thing. I suggested that dues could be as little as $3 per month, and could be collected monthly instead of weekly. But even that amount was too much. Their reasoning was that they would rather do money-earning events than pay dues out of their own pocket. When it came to a vote, the voted NO DUES.

 

It would appear that this no dues resolution does not follow the ideal Scouting program. Is there a way that the patrol method could change this?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dues have tradionally been a Troop function. Dues were to be collected weekly to cover the Annual Troop budget that included usually: recharter fees, insurance, Boy's Life subscriptions, and advancement awards. Our Troop currently charges $5.00 a month, collected sometime during the month, by the Patrol's Scribe, and then turned over to the Troop Scribe to record with the Treasurer Committee person. All other Troop/patrol activities are paid by the Scouts on an event by event basis. The Scouts earn their own money at home, and/or through Troop fund raising activities.

Again, Troop dues are not something set by the PLC. The Committee has to set a budget. That budget is not set by the PLC. Dues are a necessary evil, or as you have stated, some Troops have gone to an annual fee that usually is paid by the parent(s). Responsibility for monthly dues can easier be given to the Scouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>It would appear that this no dues resolution does not follow the ideal Scouting program. Is there a way that the patrol method could change this?<

 

Wait a minute. With all due respect, the patrol method did work on your dues question. They decided on sweat equity as their way of funding the program. They didn't just say everybody's parents should just write a check. They determined that they would work together for the common goal of funding their scouting experience. What makes that inferior to doing chores independently and bringing in the money to a meeting? This is supposed to be fun with a purpose. And teamwork and working toward common goal all goes into it. So they voted to do their "dues collection" through group labor. Sounds like the patrol system works again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the most important thing, as far as troop finances go, is that the boys are involved in the fundraising effort. I see no problem if they choose to concentrate on projects rather than dues, as long as everyone participates.

 

The benifit of dues is that it is a guarantee that everyone participated equally. My son's troop does $5 monthly. We recommended to the parents that the scouts be given specific responsibilities or goals at home to earn this money. The money is collected by patrol Scribe. They turn it in monthly to the Troop Scribe and he records it with the help of the Committee Treasurer. This way the boys have another leadership growth opportunity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally, our troop collected dues on a monthly basis ($3). This became a logistical nightmare for the Dues Scribe and the Patrol Leaders. As hard as the boys (PL's) tried, it was a real struggle getting all of the boys to remember their money and to pay their dues promptly (we have roughly 60 boys in our troop). Furthermore, the troop policy, which forbids Scouts who has dues in arrears from participating in troop outings, was often forgotten or overlooked intentionally by Patrol Leaders. The boys (PLC) opted to go to an annual collection, but kept the troop policy. This simplified their task significantly. With the monthly collection of dues, it was a difficult task to keep track of the boys and their status for outings. Now that they collect the dues annually, the "NO outings" list is much shorter and easier to track. The policy is enforced and eventually all of the dues are collected.

 

The one big draw back to this system (annual verse monthly) is that the boys lose the learning experience of having a regular financial commitment. It seems to me, this is why the dues system was created for the boysto teach them about finances, commitment, and responsibility. In particular, the annual collection policy significantly reduces the responsibilities of the Dues Scribe. Although, having seen it done on a monthly basis, and knowing the problems that it can create for a Dues Scribe, I'm not sure that is such a bad thing.

 

I agree with the other posts though. If the boys are making the decisions, and the system is fair, I see no harm. I see no purpose in forcing a system upon the boys (not that anyone has suggested this), which they might resent and/or would not follow. FScouter, I think you've done what you should have done. I'm not sure you can do anything more. Perhaps, you could explain your position more thoroughly at the next PLC and ask them to reconsider.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×